Charity funds defibrillator after grandad’s pitchside heart attack

Sam O'Leary (78) was watching his grandson Jack train with Nelson FC when he had a heart attack. His life was saved by defender Kevin Brown and manager Phil Eastwood (s)
Sam O'Leary (78) was watching his grandson Jack train with Nelson FC when he had a heart attack. His life was saved by defender Kevin Brown and manager Phil Eastwood (s)

An appeal for a defibrillator launched after a grandad suffered a heart attack while watching his grandson train with Nelson FC has had its call answered by a charity.

Sam O’Leary (78) was watching the first team and his grandson Jack (17) training on July 14th when he collapsed at the side of the pitch.

Nelson defender Kevin Brown and manager Phil Eastwood ran to the rescue and Kevin performed CPR on Mr O’Leary until paramedics arrived. Their quick-thinking actions are credited with saving Mr O’Leary’s life.

An appeal was launched by Mr O’Leary’s granddaughter Lauren to fund a defibrillator for the club and it quickly reached £1,080.

However, the Joseph Windsor Heart Trust, set up in memory of Joseph who died aged 13 from a heart condition in 2011, heard about the story and stepped in with the required money to purchase a defibrillator for the club.

Lauren said: “We cannot thank the Trust enough for the work they do providing this life saving equipment. It is an amazing charity.

“The money you have all helped raise will now go towards classes to train the team to use the defibrillator, beds, stretchers and other medical equipment.

“Big thanks to Joseph’s amazing mum Debbie who made this happen. She is a truly inspirational woman.”

“Grandad is doing really well. He had his pacemaker fitted on Monday and was then sent home from hospital on Tuesday. He just needs to take it easy now but we are delighted to have him home.”

Nelson FC have invited Mr O’Leary to a home game in the new season when he is fully recovered to present the defibrillator.